The International Space Station (ISS) is a huge spacecraft that orbits earth from a distance of about 220 miles. It serves both as a science lab and as home for astronauts. The ISS was jointly built by many nations. According to NASA, one of its uses is for astronauts to be able to adapt to living and working in outer space over very long periods of time..
The space station’s first module was launched by Russia in 1998 and the first astronauts arrived there on November 2nd, 2000. It is as big as a five bedroom house and has two washrooms, a gymnasium and a day window. Six people can live in the ISS at any one time. The accumulation of countries participating are currently the United States, Japan, Russia, and Europe, each with their own science labs.
Following are some interesting and amazing facts about the international space station that you might not know:
- The ISS is said to be the most expensive object ever created by human beings. Currently, around $160 billion have been spent on it
- Astronauts had to take 136 spaceflights to build the space station
- It consists of 70 major, and hundreds of minor components
- 8 miles of electrical wire is used inside the space station, just for connecting the electrical power system
- NASA reports that there are around 52 computers to control the space station
- The spacecraft is larger than a Boeing 747 jumbo jet
- The weight of the space station is around 1 million pounds
- The ISS will remain functional at least until 2028
- The ISS flies so fast that it can travel to the moon and come back within a day. Its speed is 4.791 miles/ second
- Since 2000, when the first crew landed on the space station, the crew members have eaten around 25,000 meals
- Total number of people who have visited the international space station is 211 and they were from 15 different countries
- Astronauts need to perform physical exercises while at the ISS to maintain a healthy weight, which includes at least 2.5 hours of physical training each day.
- The urine of laboratory animals and crewmembers in the ISS is filtered and added to the drinking water supply to ensure ample drinking water is available to astronauts
- Process of ‘Electrolysis’ provides oxygen to the astronauts living in the International Space Station
- Astronauts living in the ISS witness 15 sunrises and sunsets per day
- ISS is a sign of international cooperation and helped ease the tensions among countries that developed during the Cold War
- Countries which were involved in ISS’s construction included: The United States, Canada, Russia, Denmark, Japan, Brazil, Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Norway, Italy, Germany, The United Kingdom, Spain, Switzerland and Sweden
- The International Space Station has served as the spaceport for 4 Japanese HTV cargo spacecrafts, 89 Russian Soyuz spacecrafts, 3 Space X Dragons, 37 space shuttle missions and 4 European ATV cargo spacecrafts
- Europe was responsible for making the greatest contribution for building of the international space system. 29 % of all its modules were built by Europe
- In 2001, Pizza Hut paid $1 million to Russia to deliver their pizza to the ISS